Barn Renovation to classic car workshop

Being a large traditional Charantais farmhouse there are a number of barns here that have served a variety of purposes over the last 200 or so years. One of our barns was used as a pigeonnier (dovecote) in a previous epoch, evident by the entry point high up on the wall supported by a stone lintel and with a stone ledge. Around the walls of the barn are small holes, each with a stone lintel, which provided nesting. Pigeons were kept for their eggs, flesh and dung. Many of these nesting holes have been filled with stone when the use of the barn changed.

The structural integrity of the roof of a French barn is wholly dependant on the roof stopping rain from coming in. If water leaks into the thick stone walls, normally built using mud as the mortar, they will eventually bulge out before falling down. Consequently, when a new roof is needed, a new roof must be put on.

French barn roof renovation, Gites in Charente

Barn Roof in need of attention!

Inside the barn the floor was just (damp) dirt and a tie rod had been installed at some point to strengthen the structure, suggesting that the roof had been leaking for many years. Look for the tell tale signs of running water down the inside walls, as seen in the picture below.

Barn renovation France, Gites in Charente

Evidence of Leaking Roof

Replacing a roof is not a job for the light hearted DIYer and so the services of two brave, state registered (English) artisans were called on, Drew Rule and Brett Taylor. With the roof partially removed, it looks like this …… would you get up there?!

Barn renovation France, Gites in Charente, garage for classic cars

With Half of the Roof Removed

Having spent out on the roof it seemed crazy not to spend a little more in creating a workshop for the classic cars. So, Drew and Brett’s services were retained, an RSJ was purchased from someone who had “broken” a barn and the floor was dug out for the laying of concrete.

Conduit was run across the courtyard for the electrical supply and work continued.

Reinforced Concrete Floor Laid

Mezzanine Floor Under Construction

Upstairs Spares Stores and Vanzay RAC Club, with sofa, library and Scaletrix

Job Finished….a great place to fettle the classics and a Boys Bolt Hole

If you are planning to drive your classic car to France and want the security of knowing that you have a dry, fully fitted workshop available for emergency maintenance or just for holiday fettling of your classic, then we have the facilities here. Visit our web site for more information or take a look around our blog to see why we are a popular holiday destination for classic car driving holidaymakers. Alternatively, make an enquiry or comment via the form below.